#spareChange: We A Sufferer – The Plight Of Jackie Bernard

In Blog, Culture by Carl Finlay1 Comment

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Reggae legend Jackie Bernard is in the shits. An international fund has been set up to give him a dig out.

 

To fans of Jamaican music The Kingstonians are widely regarded as one of the finest bands of the late 60s and early 70s . Their lead singer and songwriter was a man by the name of Jackie Bernard who’s impassioned vocals and lyrics have enriched the lives of so many people around the globe. His many hits such as ‘Sufferer’; ‘Singerman’; ‘Jah Jah Way’; ‘Lion’s Den’; ‘Hold Down’, and ‘Ups and Downs’ are cornerstones of one of the most vital periods in Jamaican musical history, and sales of original copies of his 45s regularly reach triple figures on online auctions.

At a cursory glance Jackie Bernard has achieved a lot of success over the years. But despite his songs being reissued worldwide countless times over several decades and having an international hit when UB40 covered his composition ‘Singerman’, Jackie Bernard is living a life of destitution. His desperate situation was brought to light by a Spanish man living in Jamaica who discovered one of his heroes living in a tiny unfurnished house. He found Mr.Bernard in terrible health, malnourished and without enough money to pay for food, care, medicine or basic hygiene. He is also a diabetic and has little physical mobility.

He is a man that should be living comfortably from the royalties from all the songs that he has written. Yet, he is another true pioneer of Jamaican music abandoned in oblivion and who is, like others before, dying alone without basic resources. There has been a fund set up to donate money to help Jackie Bernard out with basic health care, food and general living standards. if anybody wishes to donate you they can follow this link:

 Go give him a bit of spare change here or keep yer eyes peeled on their Facebook page for more.

 

 

 

 

Author: Carl Finlay

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